Have you always wondered why there are so many different species of angiosperms? Why Mediterranean-type ecosystems have such a floristic diversity? And why species in these systems often look very similar to each other, even though they are not related?
I have been wondering this during the last 4 years in which I worked on my PhD thesis, and found some exciting insights…
Phylogenetic comparative methods are a powerful tool to understand which factors may drive the evolution and diversification of lineages across space and time. Angiosperms have a certain flexibility in their evolution of traits, and seem to keep on ‘reinventing’ themselves. These ‘functional traits’ have enabled them to colonize all major terrestrial biomes, and even become the dominant elements in most of these systems.
Everyone is invited to come to my PhD thesis defence on the 2nd of June 2015 at 15h in the Botanical Garden in Zurich.